Believe it or not, occasionally the presidential candidates can offer more than bullying banter. Audubon recently asked the candidates to describe their positions on some important environmental issues (See September-October 2008). On Monday, ScienceDebate 2008, a citizens initiative now signed by hundreds of influential scientific organizations, universities, and individuals, released McCain’s written answers to 14 questions about today’s most pressing scientific concerns. Obama provided answers to the same questions two weeks ago.
Questions about ocean health, climate change, clean water, energy and scientific integrity overlap some of Audubon’s inquiries. Their answers cover much of the same territory, but provide some more detail on their views. Other questions tackled topics like space exploration, national security, stem cell and genetics research, bio-security, innovation and education.
“Most of America’s major unsolved challenges revolve around these 14 questions,” said Shawn Otto, CEO of the initiative, in a news release. ScienceDebate 2008, sadly, did not achieve its eponymous goal of getting the candidates to debate these questions in real time.
To see a side-by-side comparison of McCain and Obama’s responses click here.
Also check out this effort by Scientists & Engineers for America to have all members of Congress answer 7 questions on similar issues. You can look up your representatives' records on these topics by zip-code.